Jimmy Piersall stars and wins the game with a walk-off homer

ON THIS DATE (July 12, 1956) ... Jimmy Piersall crashed a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning after twice making run-preventing catches to propel the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the White Sox.

Piersall's blast came off Jack Harshman, high into the left field net, scoring Dick Gernert, who had singled before him. The blow came with the game tied at 1-1 and was the icing on the cake for for Jimmy.

Piersall, with two outs and a runner on first, turned in a masterful piece of running thievery on a deep liner by Sherm Lollar in the fourth inning. Playing in straightaway center, Piersall sprinted at an angle to cross behind Ted Williams and snag the ball in front of the scoreboard, stealing what appeared to be a sure double.

Harshman had breezed along on a two-hitter and hit a home run off Frank Sullivan, into the Red Sox bullpen in the eighth inning, giving himself a 1-0 advantage. But in the bottom of that inning, the Red Sox wasted no time and doubled their hit production to tie the score. Pinch-hitter Norm Zauchin singled and Billy Consolo was brought in to run for him. Consolo made it all the way home on Billy Goodman's double that he sliced down the left field line and rolled into the corner.

Leo Kiely pitched the ninth inning to get the decision. With the game tied, two singles, a force play, and an intentional walk had loaded the bases. With two outs, Harshman came up and flied to deep right center. Piersall ran straight back and hauled it in to save a potential disaster.

Piersall delivered the first hit of the game for the Red Sox in the fifth inning and Billy Klaus smashed one off Fred Hatfield's glove in the sixth until the eighth inning.

Paramount Studios had a film crew at Fenway Park, trying to capture some footage of Jimmy for his film biography, "Fear Strikes Out". They got their money's worth.

 

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CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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BOSTON RED SOX

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W-Leo Kiely (2-2)
L-Jack Harshman (6-5)
Attendance: 28,092

 2B-Goodman (Bost), Lollar (Chi)

 HR-Piersall (Bost), Harshman (Chi)